Legacy Work: “One Proud Poppa”
“Congratulations,” Dr. Gallon, the voice on the other end of the phone exclaimed. It was the former Board President from my Superintendency in New Jersey. Several other phone calls, emails, and texts would follow. And follow. And follow.
The Board members that called recalled my idea for a new school that I discussed in my interview. The answer was a part of my response to a question about what I would do to stop the declining enrollment.
I asserted that my plan was to innovate, implement, and compete.
For the next 11 months I would carry this school in the intellectual, creative, and administrative womb of my Superintendency.
I named it. Planned it and requested and received approval from the State for its establishment. I interviewed and hired the new principal.
Within one year, it was birthed and opened its doors in August of 2009, along with another school serving at-risk students that I named and renamed after first Black president was elected.
I was invited to attend the graduation of its first class by a group of students. I admired, applauded, and celebrated from a distance.
Seven years later, I do so once again as this school, after being fathered and birthed on the East Coast by a father from Miami’s Liberty City, whose principal remains in place, and who was often politically “side-eyed” because of who his “father” was has been named as one of U.S. News Best High Schools in the Nation.
“He’s my legacy, son I’m a hard work
Future of my past, he’ll explain who I be…” Jay-Z, History